My Adventures Teaching at a Writing Conference and Retreat in Greece

This update is long overdue, but I wanted to share some images and notes from teaching at a writing retreat and conference in Europe called the Homeric Writers Workshop & Retreat in August 2012. The event was based on the island of Ithaca, Greece, and featured workshops for writers and novelists wanting to get published.

Getting asked to teach was an amazing opportunity, and I enjoyed the entire trip—even the long flights and lost luggage. Below see some of my favorite photos from the voyage with some captions about it. If you’re interested in finding a picturesque place in Europe to enjoy a writers retreat, I highly urge you check out the writing conference homepage. Although 2012 was the first year for the event, it’s being developed into an annual writers retreat—probably during summer 2013.

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You can’t get it to the isle of Ithaca by plane. I had to fly to Athens, and then to a large island called Kephalonia (which has about a million different spellings). What you see here is a town on Kephalonia that I departed from to get to Ithaca.

The island of Ithaca as seen from a high point. Quite a location for a writing conference and retreat.

Me teaching one of about 10 classes. Note the stereotypical Italian hand gestures I’m using. I’m also sure you’re impressed by that cheap touristy shirt I’m wearing. Air France actually lost my luggage for 5 days during the trip, so I was forced to wear whatever I could find or borrow.


Each attendee got personalized attention and edits. There were manuscript critiques, as well as query letter editing for all.


There was a long excursion that followed Homer’s original journey around the island thousands of years ago. I did not go on the excursion, but wanted to post this shot, as it’s just a gorgeous view of the island’s landscape.

After a lovely welcome dinner, all the attendees and organizers went out for some gelato. Part of the retreat’s charm was that doing the simplest of tasks, such as getting ice cream, was a pure joy because of the scenery and friendliness of the people.


Quite a thrill that my first gyro EVER was eaten in Greece. Past the foreground you can see the hotel pool and our daily view of the sea.

Typical view of walking down a village street.

Typical view of walking along the water. Lots of boats, shops, and restaurants. Very picturesque, just as you would imagine.

On the last night I was there, we all went to the Stavros Dance Festival in Stavros. It was a great way to have fun after a long day of learning.

My namesake … about to be in my belly.

One of my favorite pictures from the event shows everyone enjoying themselves at the dance festival.

The whole crew sitting down at the dance festival. Good spirits all around.

The Stavros Dance Festival in all its kinetic glory.

So Air France took five days to find and deliver my luggage. By that point, I was hours away from heading home! Because I didn’t have my electric razor, my elusive reddish beard made its first real appearance in years. This is it at 8 days growth, just before it was mercifully removed.


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